Everything is just more present and less veiled. This is a folk/bluegrass song with some fiddles, some acoustic guitars, and some heavy bass notes thrown in during the bridge. I think the Elex is pretty balanced sounding and has good bass extension. Interesting thread.
I actually like these as a relaxing set of headphones, they feel comfortable and are easy to listen to. The pads are thin so I ordered replacements already.
Bump... are there any more opinions on this now that the Elex is available (at least to non-Europeans) again?
These have a very light clamp almost non-existent, I would not take these to the gym . But the Elex has better range, better dynamics, and less high-end harshness–it causes far, far less fatigue. © 2001-2020 Head-Fi.org. I decided to post this review to provide a perspective about the Focal Elex from someone who mostly listen to classic and latin music.
Fit/Comfort 1st, regarding fit and comfort, I love the Massdrop Sennheiser HD 6XX.
What headphones do you have in your collection and why? I can sit and relax and sip whiskey and just let the music envelop me while listening with these, which is one of my favorite decompress things to do at the end of the day after the kiddo is asleep. Sennheiser HD660S vs Focal Massdrop Elex?
Again, the drums slam with enthusiasm but are never out of control.
more_vert. The cables are wrapped in a paracord-like sheath and 6 feet long, as opposed to the really lengthy 10 feet ones that come with the Elear. I finally found time to collect my thoughts and write something about these.
One thing to note with these is that they will leak like crazy. I was struck by the sound profile similarities between the Elex and HD600. Specop. The Focal Elex is a bit on the heavier side though. Interesting. But…they will never be a 4x4 on your head…. It has a neutral sound-signature that leans bright, providing additional detail and air, and retains a good deep bass that chooses quality over quantity.
They work best on tracks that benefit from bass impact. These have excellent separation and presentation with accuracy and detail.
The bass slams, but the transient reponse is fast and you get the little textures that you may not hear in a typical dynamic that compensates with a mid-bass hump.
They retail at $999 but can be found for about $799 now. Never my choice for classical or acoustic though. It’s just the nature of the beast really. Retail was an absurd $900. The pads are outstanding! The most impressive thing about it is that the decay is fast and this provides a surprisingly planar-like bass that has punch and dynamic detail. They are lighter than the LCD series and have a more technical sound to them than the Audeze. That being said they are sturdy but can creak if moved a lot. This new model to this lineup essentially takes the Elear, removes it’s pads and puts the Clear pads on them, along with a fresh paint job, improved cables from the Clear, and reduces the price tag by a couple hundred dollars to the selling price of $699. Speaking of the two, in my measured MiniDSP EARS responses, they look very similar, outside of the region between 1-3KHz. They have great response and clarity. It’s one of those albums that have tracks that have great dynamics, some with absurd amounts of bass, and some that have great imaging and width.
I mean the Elex sound amazing, but the HD700 with the wider soundstage just do it for me. I have a schiit stack currently which I will upgrade later.
Usually I will just give them to family members so I can still use them every now and then when I’m feeling it. I found the cords a little stiff, despite looking very attractive. The bass and the treble response are very similar besides that. There are plenty of headphones out there that certainly do certain aspects better. i wonder if it creates resale issues for their owners. Not a problem on the Elex. The Elex comes packaged in a large magnetic snap box, that opens up with a simple presentation. Personally I dig the Elex the most...but I’ve decided to never ever support Focal again after a) I found out that they charge close to 200$ for a set of new pads(!) There’s some very subtle over-pronunciations of the SSS sound (sibilance) but its very faint and doesn’t distract me like some other headphones may. I did not notice any creaking while they were on my head though. I found this on several songs going through my EDM playlist.
It is a brighter headphone so songs that are emphasized in the upper region may sound harsh. Again, the fast decay these drivers produce really helps make this genre excel. The only disappointing aspect is the quality is not premium feeling, they are plastic and I would have liked maybe an aluminum or some other metal, but that is not a detraction from their function more of their form . And DO NOT believe the dogma on the unfairly reviled HD700. You can feel the two cables running side by side through the entire cable below the Y. per audeze, a friend did warn me about the infamous weight issues for many of their models: suggested instead to try hfm…but their qc is so so.
Last year, Massdrop announced a collaboration with Focal and started collecting funds for the Focal Elex.
Black on black finish is very clean and has a nice touch feel. The biggest flaws I found with this headphone are that it does leak quite a bit, and can be uncomfortable to wear over a lengthy time due to it’s weight. The Elex has a 2 year warranty (from Focal) in the US. When they send review requests the product will return soon. I found the Elex with potential untapped at lower listening volumes. changes (new editions) and new models that keep coming out. Vocals typically sound fantastic, but with the upper-mids being on the brighter side of neutral, they can sometimes have a metal sheen to them, as does my comparable HE560.
still searching for a new toy to step up from my hd6xx without breaking the bank. Now, none of this about audio quality or natural sound. and their sound sig didn’t blow me away, as i was expecting.
Contact is the final song on the record which sounds like a typical Daft Punk song. In more recent years, they started developing and releasing headphones starting with their Spirit and Listen lines. The Elex replaced -- and significantly upgraded -- a set of Massdrop Hifiman HE 4XX. The LCD-2C are heavy, but they cause jaw compression too.
Slap on a pair of dekonis and get an all copper cable to replace the oem silver copper hybrid cable and you’ve got the mini-800s you were hoping for when you bought the 700s in the first place - maybe more, at least with a nice tube amp driving them.
I personally much prefer Elex over HD660S.
After swapping my HD-600 cable for balanced, they truly do provide a surprisingly deep and satisfying bass experience. The dynamics have bass quality that can give planars a run for their money, and the upper end provides the needed detail and air that make this headphone a good all-arounder.
FOCAL ELEX Specs (Copy pasted from Massdrop website) Massdrop x Focal Open-back circumaural design 40mm full-range dynamic driver with aluminum-magnesium “M”-shaped dome 20mm-thick perforated microfiber memory foam ear pads Perforated microfiber headband with length adjustment and cup rotation Aluminum yoke Impedance: 80 ohms Sensitivity: 104 dB SPL / 1 mW at 1 … The velour is very nice against the skin. You won’t get neck cramps quickly, but for some, the Elex and really, all of the headphones in this Focal lineup may give some neckaches. These disappear on the head (not quite as good as the HD700) …I have zero complaints on the comfort department. I think Audeze’s design aims for synesthesia (sensory cross-over) and the traditional audiophile experience. The Focal Elex has all the characteristics I love about headphones. The Elex is an intimate set, they are warmer than the HD700, vocals are more intimate with less peaks, and female vocals come into the ear so very warm and intimate. I only have the HD6XX. The logo is dark on dark so everything blends together giving it a clean finish. For me, the Elex handles this fine. He also happened to buy it from them during the same sale, but decided to keep another headphone instead.
I think the cable is a very good-looking cable and has a nice braid and feel to it. The Elex, themselves, feature a darker appearance than the Clear and Elear. That being said I really don’t like the actual cable in practice, it is very “janky” and not very flexible. They posted measurements vs the Elear but I haven’t seen them with superimposed Elex measurements on them and since I don’t know what they used to measure with, it’s a little hard to determine if I’ll find any of the pads very useful.
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